If you’ve considered buying a 3D printer, you’ve probably also considered the cost of the 3D printer controller. While 3D printers themselves have become more accessible in terms of price, the convenience of a 3D printer-controller combo is still a major consideration. But the good news is that there are many different controllers that fit a wide range of budgets.
Here, we’ve rounded up the best 3D printer controllers to help you find the right one for your needs.
Read on to learn more.
Our Editor’s Best 3d Printer Controllers Reviews
- TMC2208 is an ultra-quiet two-phase stepper motor drive chip, continuous drive current 1.4A, peak current 2A, voltage range 4.75V-36V, 256 subdivision.
- The flexible microPlyer interpolation unit provides up to 256 subdivisions, allowing perfect sinusoidal control even in systems with limited pulse frequencies; these are also designed because stealthChop2 ultra-quiet technology is widely used in 3D printing.
- Compatible with existing 3D printer electronics, eliminating the expensive costs of redesign. It can replace the original TMC2100 A4988 DRV8825 LV8729, lower heat, especially for 3D printing market.
- With this adapter you can test your SilentStepStick or flash the TMC2208 SilentStepStick with an USB-to-serial converter.
- The adapter comes with stackable headers, so you can use it direct on your 3D printer board. The tester is pre-configured for standalone operation on an USB to serial adapter (VIO-VM jumper closed).
- 2560 control board: The board is a microcontroller board based on the 16AU .It has 54 digital input/output pins (of which 14 can be used as PWM outputs), 16 analog inputs, 4 UARTs (hardware serial ports), a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button. It contains everything needed to support the microcontroller; simply connect it to a computer with a USB cable or power it with a AC-to-DC adapter or battery to get started.
- RAMPS 1.4: RAMPS interfaces an for Arduino with the powerful for Arduino platform and has plenty room for expansion. The modular design includes plug in stepper drivers and extruder control electronics on an for Arduino shield for easy service, part replacement, upgrade-ability and expansion. for Additionally, a number of for Arduino expansion boards can be added to the system as long as the main RAMPS board is kept to the top of the stack.
- LCD 12864 with Controller: This full graphic Smart Controller contains a SD-Card reader, an rotary encoder and a 128 x 64 dot matrix LCD display. You can easy connect it to your Ramps board using the "smart adapter" included.
- A4988 driver module: A4988 Stepper Motor Driver Board is a breakout board for Allegro?ˉs A4988 DMOS Microstepping Driver with Translator and Overcurrent Protection; please read the A4988 datasheet carefullybefore using this product.
- Warning: Connecting or disconnecting a stepper motor while the driver is powered can destroy the driver. (More generally, rewiring anything while it is powered isasking for trouble.)
- 1.Power is connected to the power supply, pay attention to positive and negative.
- 2.Hotbed connected to the hot bed heating line, pay attention to positive and negative.
- 3.Digital control signals can be connected to Gnd and D8 directly.
- 4.Connect the control signal from the Ramps1.4 or MKS motherboard MOS tube to Bed.
- 5.The two sets of control signals can only be connected to one group.
- Integrate 2560 and Ramps1.4 one PCB,easier wiring and more stable.
- Use high-quality 4 layer PCB&Use special power chip,support 12V-24V, also Use Marlin firmware,same as configuration way as Ramps1.4, it can replace Ramps1.4 directly.
- Support a variety of stepper drivers:4988,8825,TMC2208 and TMC2100, and available to work with LCD2004,LCD12864,MKS.
- TFT24/28/32/35 & Available to connect external large stepp drivers Accept 24V input,reduce the heated bed current to 1/4 that slove the Mosfet heat problem efficiently.
- Retail Servos,AUX-1 and AUX-2 interface of Ramps1.4 provide three 5V output and three 12V output interfaces.
- Converts AC voltage to 24V DC. LED Indicator.
- Output Current 20 Amp, Power 480 Watt. Efficiency more than 80%.
- Smart device surge protection for Shortage Protection, Overload Protection, Over Voltage Protection
- Widely used in 3D Printer, Industrial automation, LED display, communications, CNC Stepper, etc
- Efficient, long life, stable, and reliable - JoyNano Quality Warranty
- ꕥ【 Wide Application 】Size: 18.5*19.8 mm, drive current 1.6, peak current 2A, voltage range12 V- 24 V, 256 subdivision. Bigtreetech EZ2209 stepper motor driver compatible with most 3D printer control board, it is able to use in SKR 3 EZ motherboard directly. Meanwhile, it can well-matched for I3 Mega, Octopus V1.2, SKR 3 and other popular main boards by using stepper driver adapter.
- ꕥ【Better heat dissipation】It is definitely a innovative 2 in 1 stepper driver & heat sink combines, EZ2209 stepper driver adopt new large aluminum heatsink instead of using small pieces heatsink to enhance the heat dissipation capacity, keeps heat output and energy consumption to a minimum as well protect the driver chip from external damage.
- ꕥ【A Breeze to Install】 EZ2209 is an upgraded pinless structure stepper driver which protect you from finger prick, you can enjoy easy one-way installation due to the marvelous anti-misplugging design, it means that the drives can only be inserted in the correct orientation. Tip: please remember that if you are gonna put in other board (except SKR 3 EZ), it is necessary to use stepper driver adapter together.
- ꕥ【Ultra Silent Step Driver】 EZ2209 stepper motor driver adopts stealthChop2 Mute technology which reduces motor noise to the point of silence at low velocities to ensures noiseless operation, maximum efficiency and best motor torque.
- ꕥ【High Durability】 It is equipped with 4 layer of PCB of superior performance. Compare to the old-style driver, EZ2209 V1.0 stepper driver gives you a long service life even being used for a long time, built in last. We offer long-term after-sales guaranteed time for 12 months, If you have difficulties in using our step driver or other questions, please let me know what help you need, we are here ready to support you.
- ⭐SUPER PERFORMANCE CHIP: BIGTREETECH Octopus control adopts 32-bit ARM-level Cortex-M4 series STM32F446ZET6 chip with a frequency of up to 180MHz, and supports 8 stepper motors. Equipped with highly modular open source firmware Marlin2.0, which greatly improves the overall performance of the motherboard, and all the functions of the motherboard do not require any expansion modules, and supports running Klipper and Marlin firmware
- ⭐SUPER MULTI-FUNCTION CONTROL PANEL: Support material interruption detection, continuous printing after power failure, shutdown after printing, BL_Touch, support online printing, etc. Upgrading the configuration firmware through the SD card, the operation is simple, convenient and efficient. Using high-performance MOSFET, the heat dissipation effect is better.
- ⭐MULTI-FUNCTION DISPLAY: TFT35 E3 V3.0.1 touch screen has higher compatibility. You can choose two working modes: UART serial screen mode and 12864 screen mode. The WIFI port is reserved, and the WIFI function is implemented by an external WIFI module.SD card update firmware is simple and convenient, download from our github, copy and save to SD card
- ⭐ULTRA-QUIET DRIVER: TMC2209 v1.3 with SpreadCycle technology, enables high precision cycle-by-cycle current control for the highest dynamic motion. Large area thermal pad to reduce the temperature of the drive during operation. The motor is difficult to lose step. Can prevent motor vibration. The module supports STEP/DIR and UART modes.
- ⭐WORRY-FREE AFTER-SALES SERVICE: Do you have any questions? Or if you have any problems that need to be solved, please feel free to contact us, and we will arrange the most professional technical team to solve it for you until you are satisfied.
- 1.Upgrade the firmware by SD card. It is easy and convenient to operate.This display board has higher compatibility. Users can select two work modes,they are UART serial port screen mode and 12864 screen mode.
- 2.Serial port screen mode supports two printing modes: SD card and U disk.
- 3.Reserve WIFI port, and WIFI function is realized by external WIFI module;
- 4.Reserve the extension port of filament breaking detection (FIL-DET);Reserve the extension port of automatic shutdown after printing (PS-ON);
- 5.2 sets of UART serial port extension ports are reserved for DIY use.
- RAMPS 1.4 Control Panel is used as driving shield for 3D printers, and it's easy to stack it onto the MEGA 2560 control board.
- Assembly and testing without welding.
- Arduino expansion boards can be added to the system as long as the main RAMPS board is kept to the top of the stack
- Suitable for 5 Pololu stepper drive boards.
- 100% brand new and high quality.
- Clear Display: Comes with a large size of 3.1in, the LCD display screen with white character and blue backlight enables clear viewing.
- Smart Control: Supports for RAMPS 1.4 control board, the LCD display will largely simply the operation and improve working efficiency.
- Wide in Match: Allows for wide application on various 3D printer, including for Anet A8, for A6, for A4, for E2 3D, for A6 L and more.
- With 5pin Cable: The double row 5pin cable ensures firm connection and stable transmission, also very easy to use, just plug and play.
- Easy to Install: Light in weight and compact in size as well, the convenient installation can be quickly completed within minutes.
Best 3d Printer Controllers Buying Guide
Before choosing the best 3D printer controller you should consider following options:
1. RAM Memory: RAM memory is the fastest form of computer memory. It acts as a temporary storage location for the operating system and program files a computer uses.
For 3D printer controllers, RAM memory is used to store information while programs run. It is important that you purchase a 3D printer controller with enough RAM memory to run the programs you will use.
If you are planning to print large, complex objects, you will need a 3D printer controller with at least 1GB of RAM memory. If you are using your 3D printer controller for simpler 3D printing jobs, 512MB will be enough.
2. Flash Memory: Flash memory is a non-volatile storage medium. This means that it can store information even when the power is off.
The information stored in flash memory is used to control the printer’s functions. 3D printer controllers with more flash memory have a higher level of customization.
If you are new to 3D printing and are unsure what settings to use when printing, a 3D printer controller with a limited amount of flash memory may be best.
3. ROM Memory: ROM memory is a non-rewritable form of computer memory that holds an operating system and program instructions.
For a 3D printer controller, ROM memory is used to store the operating system. A higher amount of ROM memory allows the 3D printer controller to run more efficiently and with fewer errors.
A 3D printer controller with 512MB of ROM memory is recommended for new users. Experienced users may find that a 3D printer controller with 1GB of ROM memory is more than enough.
What else you should know about 3d printer controllers
1. What are the different types of 3D printer controllers?
There are three main types of printer controllers:
1. Stand-alone controllers: These controllers are typically dedicated to a single printer and are not connected to a network. They are typically used for lower-end printers.
2. Embedded controllers: These controllers are built into the printer itself and are used for mid-range and high-end printers.
3. Networked controllers: These controllers are connected to a network and can be used to control multiple printers.
2. What are the benefits of using a 3D printer controller?
A printer controller is a device that helps manage printing jobs and sends them to the appropriate printer. It can be used to monitor the progress of print jobs, track printer usage, and control access to printers.
3. What are the features of a 3D printer controller?
Some features of a printer controller may include:
-The ability to connect to and control multiple printers simultaneously
-A user-friendly interface for managing print jobs
-Support for a variety of printing technologies (e.g., inkjet, laser, thermal, etc.)
-Advanced features for managing color printing, paper size and orientation, and other print job settings
4. How does a 3D printer controller work?
A printer controller is a device that connects a printer to a computer. It allows the computer to send data to the printer and receive data from the printer.
5. What are the limitations of a 3D printer controller?
Some printer controllers only work with specific types of printers, so if you change printers you may need to also change the controller. Printers also require specific types and amounts of ink or toner, which the controller may not be able to accommodate.
On the market, there are numerous best 3d printer controllers. Hopefully, the list of the top ten best 3d printer controllers will save you time researching and deciding on the best one for you.